Gene Smith
Apr 28, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Services for Gene Smith, 74, Hopkinsville, were held at at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at Hughart and Beard Funeral Home in Hopkinsville, with the Rev. Dr. Howard Willen officiating. Burial followed in Riverside Cemetery.

Mr. Smith died at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2010, at his home following a long illness.

A native of Marshall County, he was born Nov. 1, 1935, the son of the late Lake and Helen Smith.

He was retired from a career with the Social Security Administration which started in 1961 in Washington, D.C. He also worked with Social Security in Hopkinsville, Hazard, Middlesboro, Atlanta and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. He was assigned to Hopkinsville in 1977.

In St. Thomas and Hopkinsville, he served as district manager. In Atlanta, he was coordinator of training and career development for more than 150 offices in nine states.

He retired in 1994 with 33 years of service and was awarded the Commissioner’s Citation, the administration’s highest award.

A Navy veteran, he taught survival swimming to Navy recruits at Great Lakes.

He later served as a water safety instructor for 25 years, organizing and teaching many life-saving classes.

He was active in establishing and promoting the Christian County Senior Citizens Center, serving as chairman for seven years, during which time the Meals On Wheels program was initiated and A.W. Watts, for whom the center is now named, was hired.

He served on the Pennyrile Area Development District for the Commission on Aging.

In 1976, he began a second career as a real estate agent and broker and later taught management classes at Hopkinsville Community College.

He was involved in Little League and Babe Ruth baseball as a coach and officer and was also instrumental in establishing the Little League complex at Ruff Park.

He was a Jaycee, United Way officer and a member of the Hopkinsville Golf & Country Club having served as president for six times and as a board member for more than 20 years.

He served on the Hopkinsville-Christian County Board of Zoning Adjustment for nine years and was a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Council for a nine-state region.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

His sports achievements include playing as a fast-pitch softball pitcher for the St. Thomas Virgin Islands All Stars. He was selected for the Pan American Games in 1970 and was a pitcher for the Atlanta Crackers, one of the nation’s top softball teams.

He organized the Hopkinsville Tennis Club and served as president. In addition, he organized local tournaments and doubles leagues, team tennis and countywide tennis training for all ages. He was also active in support of senior games on the local and state levels.

He was a United States Tennis Association referee and umpire from 1983 until 2007, including working 10 national championships, the Ohio Valley Conference college tournaments, Southeastern Conference college matches and tournaments, NCAA regional tournaments, including indoor college national championships.

In 1966, he was voted Kentucky Tennis Official of the Year and was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Pennyrile Area Tennis Association.

A son, Gregory James Smith, preceded him in death.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Kay McGrath Smith; two sons, Jeffrey Michael Smith and Bradley Allen Smith, both of Cadiz; and a sister, Joyce Kay Dick, Hopkinsville.

Memorials may be given to Pennyrile Hospice or made to the donor’s charity of choice.
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